Don’t “balk” at the idea of a good time out on the town. Check out what sports the Forest City has to offer to change-up your usual night out.

Drop your phones for foam fingers and get in on the action in downtown London.

We have all been there before. It’s a Friday night and we are sitting with a group or friends or our families and are unable to decide on what to do for the night. One person wants to go out for dinner, the other just wants to sit and play on their phone with the T.V on in the background, and the last one just wants to let loose and perhaps have a few drinks.

Now you’re probably thinking “there is no way on earth we can find an activity to please everyone at the same time”; well you’re wrong. If there is one activity that has proven to please everyone in the family while being able to accomplish all of the desires I just listed; it’s attending a sports game. The Forest City (London, Ontario) has always been known as a diverse and active city, so Londoners have always had lots of options when it comes to group entertainment, but never many options when it comes to quality sports outings. So whether you’re new to the city or looking to experience something new, check out these local professional sports teams to help get your night started and keep everyone happy.

The City of London has always been a hockey city and that is not going to change. Since their inception the London Knights have been a powerhouse in the Ontario Hockey League and have produced many A-list hockey players that we have enjoyed watching in the NHL. From Patrick Kane and Rick Nash to John Tavares and Corey Perry, the London Knights have always put a great product on the ice for their fans to enjoy and brought home two National Championships to the city.

London Knights Hockey

With the 9,100 seat venue consistently selling out, the fans truly create one of the best sporting atmospheres in the entire league at Budweiser Gardens. From the lively pre-game tailgates to the post game dinner at Toboggan and everything in-between, experiencing a London Knights hockey game is an absolute must when in London. Having Budweiser Gardens located right in the heart of downtown London also allows you to tour some of the lovely restaurants nearby, and truly get that downtown metropolitan feel while in the area.

The Knights do a great job of keeping game tickets affordable and accessible to all, so everyone has an opportunity to attend a game or two throughout their season. With an average ticket price of around $20 and many free shuttles to the game provided by many restaurants, there really is no reason not to give the Knights a chance.

If fast paced sports like hockey aren’t your cup of tea, you’re in luck because the London Majors Baseball Club has just what you’re looking for. More often than not, when you go out as a group or family more than one person ends up on their phone for the duration of the movie or meal. If that’s the case why not be outdoors to do so. Better yet, trade the phone for a baseball glove.

London Majors Baseball

There is always something special about attending a baseball game with friends or family, and there is most certainly something extra special about doing it at Labatt Park in London. Labatt Park is the oldest baseball park in North America, but you can’t tell from the way the stadium is built. It is well made and suited to meet the needs of a modern baseball team and crowd. Much like other sports arenas in the city, Labatt Park is quite intimate which leaves for no bad seats for fans wishing to watch the game. Labatt Park provides you with a beautiful view of the shrubbery along the outfield fence, as well as a breathtaking view of the London skyline under the lights by the Thames River. You can never go wrong with some cheap tickets, peanuts, beer and a few hours to kill on a Friday afternoon.

Recently founded in 2011, the London Lightning are the new kids on the block in the London pro sports scene. Unlike the other teams in the city, there isn’t a whole lot of history stretching back in this franchise; however there has been unprecedented success with the team winning two straight championships in their first two years and making the playoffs in all five. The team is among the most successful in the National Basketball League of Canada.

London Lighting Basketball

The popularity of the sport has grown immensely with the addition of this franchise, and they have packed the lower bowl of Budweiser Gardens each home game and lead the league in average attendance. The fans are passionate too you can feel the energy from each of those fans at the Saturday night home games that have become a staple at Budweiser Gardens during each season.  The ticket pricing is great value for a family outing of exciting basketball, half-time entertainment, great food and an electric atmosphere that you can only dream of getting in a hockey town. The players and cheerleaders are highly involved in interacting with the fans before and after the game, which makes for a memorable experience when taking the kids out. Believe me; you are never too old to ask for an autograph.  

All in all London is a great sports city with, in my opinion, the best big three teams (Hockey, Baseball and Basketball) in the province and a great place to be a sports fan! The city is very fortunate to have the venues and support of the city to help bring the amount of success into our backyards. So if you’re ever looking for a couple hours of memorable fun on a budget, be sure to hit up the down town for some good ole fashioned fun; and hey you never know, you just might end up being on T.V.